The Problem of the Wilderness by Tom Welsh
I went to Alaska for New Year with my friend Dan; we spent a week travelling North from Anchorage by rail, 4×4 & light aircraft. I took along my A7SII for the trip.
Towards the end of 2016 I desired a trip disconnected from technology & work, somewhere ‘into the wild’ that I could disconnect somewhat from life in London. After our Tens sunglasses (tens.co) campaign shoot in Mexico in December, I headed North to Vancouver and spent Christmas snowboarding. Alaska looked like the most logical stop after that for a week or so in the wilderness. The more (little) I researched and booked, I realised I should probably take a camera with me, but didn’t want to be inconvenienced by all the gear I usually travel with – FS7, 16mm kit etc. So just took the basics – instagram.com/p/BOm8XjQDs02.
The verse is from a book I found in our cabin (instagram.com/p/BO31pi9hiJp) that really resonated with the journey. Marshall was an environmental activist who wrote extensively about Alaska in the early 20th Century.
Photos from the trip: instagram.com/getdeluxe
The Problem of the Wilderness – Bob Marshall, 1930
It is well to reflect that the wilderness furnishes perhaps the best opportunity for pure esthetic enjoyment. This requires that beauty be observed as a unity, and that for the brief duration of any pure esthetic experience the cognition of the observed object must completely fill the spectator’s cosmos. There can be no extraneous thoughts—no question about the creator of the phenomenon, its structure, what it resembles or what vanity in the beholder it gratifies. “The purely esthetic observer has for the moment forgotten his own soul”, he has only one sensation left and that is exquisiteness. In the wilderness, with its entire freedom from the manifestations of human will, that perfect objectivity which is essential for pure esthetic rapture can probably be achieved more readily than among any other forms of beauty.